Dingy corridor lights create a stale mood as you move closer to a rust encrusted door. The spherical handle reeks of neglect and grime but it’s the lettering upon the door that draws your eye.
“Dr Larry Wrinkle – Genius Extraordinaire!”
And under it a motto reads:
“There is no science without madness.”
Fighting a strong repulsion you reach your hand out and place it upon the handle. A firm grip and twist unlocks the door, though you make a mental note to wash your hand at the first opportunity. Following a further push the door gives way and grants access to its contents.
You walk into a room who’s previously seen exterior speaks nothing of the grand nature its interior possesses. The corridors dingy grime and filth is replaced completely by a clean, clinical homeliness. The kind of atmosphere the NHS so desperately tries to evoke.
Bright ceiling lights echo down the length of the room to provide more than ample lighting. Workbenches filled with rows of test tubes, fires and other bubbling fluids hug the walls. Even to the most untrained eye this room is for all intents and purposes a research lab.
Directly in front of you stands an oak table, a little out of place against the backdrop of clinical white, but still it stands sturdy, old and proud. Displayed on its top are an assortment of jars and inside each there is a specimen. They’re like nothing you’ve seen before, perhaps alien embryos or perhaps mutants, either way you can’t identify them, even if you have a medical degree.
Despite all of the fascinations that lay within your eyes reach they are not why you are here. Your left hand holds an envelope. Its course paper texture continues to comfort your hand as it has done since you were charged with delivering it. That task is almost over.
You feel a tight digging from the holster strapped around your right thigh. It’s a reminder of what you still have left to do.
At the far end of the room you see your target, Dr Larry Wrinkle. He hasn’t seen you yet, as the man is arched over a work bench. From this angle it isn’t possible to see what he is working on. So with a determined stride you pace closer, reducing the floor space between the Dr and yourself.
Having moved a little closer you can see that Dr Winkle is a man of deliberate dress as he is wearing a standard long white lab coat. Thick boots adorn his feet and rubber gloves hug his hands. Also, it is worth noting the raised welding mask sat atop his head.
In front of him stands a Bunsen burner that would have been brand new 50 years ago, over which he is holding a slice of bread. At least it looks like bread even in the blackened state it has been forced into.
“Have you ever tried to raise carrots?”
You ponder the notion for a moment. There was one time…
“These particular darlings are proving to be rather fond of toast, if not a little fussy about how much butter is on it.” The Dr places the charcoal bread upon a plate and with swift movements of a knife he begins to lash butter upon the slice. “I do have a bread and butter maker” he points to a device in the corner “but sometimes nothing beats getting down and dirty with a knife, butter and bread.”
You quickly realise that your probably the first contact Dr Wrinkle has had in a long time, so it could be a long day. Drifting into your own glazed dream world you allow the Dr to prattle on about his recent discoveries.
Eventually he pauses for breath and you seize the moment to finally thrust the envelope into Dr Winkle’s hands. It takes him a moment to open the letter, he then reads with the paper almost touching his nose.
“Charming, very charming.” He reads.
“So, the firm are happy with my work. Well what does that make you? The messenger? That hardly seems like a wise use of resources.”
His eyes take a quick scan of you and then they lock squarely into yours
“You’re certainly not military. I mean look at your clothes, they don’t tell of any military unit I know of. Though you’re not civilian either. Well I’ve already passed all of my research onto their agent so I’ve got nothing here that will be of use to you.”
You shift your weight
“ok, ok. I have a copy in the back. Hold on.”
Dr Wrinkle shuffles his way through a door to the right side of the room. You can hear scuffling and bangs coming from the room, then shortly after the door swings open and Dr Wrinkle shuffles back through.
“There. That’s the last of it.”
The Dr hands you what appears to be an ordinary CD case.
“Everything is in their hands now… and yours. If the files are lost or corrupted from now on then I have nothing to do with it. Can’t do anything with it.”
He pauses for a moment and takes a breath before looking back at you with a heavy sigh
“So now the research is finished what do you intent to do? am I free to go?”
The gun is in your hand and you face Dr Wrinkle.
Do you pull the trigger?